Last updated: 08:33 AM ET, Tue March 17 2015

New Border Agreement Means Canadian Travel Just Got Easier

Destination & Tourism | Donald Wood | March 17, 2015

New Border Agreement Means Canadian Travel Just Got Easier

The United States and Canada have worked together protecting their borders for years, but a new agreement will help speed up the process of travelers clearing customs between the two nations.  

According to the official website of the Canadian government, the new agreement will replace the 2001 Air Transport Preclearance Agreement and will also cover all modes of transportation across the border, including the addition of land, rail and marine.

Dubbed the “Agreement on Land, Rail, Marine, and Air Transport Preclearance,” the new plan is part of the initiative Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and American President Barack Obama agreed upon in December 2011.

The new agreement continues the effort to speed up the flow of people and products across the Canadian-American border. While the focus of the new regulations is efficiency, there is also a heavy focus on the safety of each country by continuing to enforce border security and integrity.

One of the biggest changes in the agreement is how the inspections take place along the border. Both American and Canadian officials will be allowed to enter the other country to help with inspections of people and goods. While the foreign officials cannot make arrests, they will be permitted to detain a suspect until the proper authorities arrive.

There is no timetable for an implementation of the new agreement yet, though, according to Esther Tanquintic-Misa of the International Business Times.

The key to this partnership will be the United States and Canada respecting each other in order to make this agreement work. Allowing officials from the other country onto foreign soil is a big deal, and the governments are placing a lot of trust in each other.

The hope is that the unprecedented agreement both allows for speedier travel between the two nations, but there still must be an emphasis on safety. Just because the border-crossing process is being sped up doesn’t mean the importance of security checks has diminished.

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